It’s been spring-like weather in Dallas so yesterday I decided to leave work at a reasonable hour since, with daylight savings time, it’s still light enough for me to walk in the neighborhood when I get home. I called my husband who agreed to also leave work while it was still daylight and go walking with me.
We walked a bit over 30 minutes and when we got home, my husband looked at me and said, “I worry about you.”
Now my husband is one of those “hovering” people who tries to take care of me all the time, but even so, this was surprising.
“Why?” I queried.
“Because,” he said, “you used to be so active and now you even have trouble walking.”
My first instinct was to deny it completely. Of course I don’t have trouble walking. I walk every day.
Then I realized he was right. I was not only in denial about having issues walking, I was about to deny that I knew I had issues. What is that? Denial squared? Exponential denial? For someone who is fairly smug about being a realist I suddenly wondered who I was kidding.
The fact is, my knees have been giving me a lot of trouble lately. In addition, I have been doing an inordinate amount of walking the last several days which has caused additional pain and swelling, to the point that during our walk, I had to sit and rest about halfway through. And when I got home, the first thing I did was put my feet up and put ice packs on my knees.
I guess sometimes it takes other people to point out the obvious to us. We either normalize things or honestly don’t notice the gradual changes that take place. Or, more often than not, are in denial that the changes are occurring. And while I’ve been contemplating having my orthopedic surgeon take a look at my knees when I go in to get my annual hip check up, I’ve been kidding myself that it’s just a routine check and that nothing really hurts.
I’m all for early detection and treatment. I encourage people to go in for annual checkups because even a sudden change within “normal” ranges in some tests can signal health issues. So why am I so blind when it comes to early signs of problems in myself? I’m really not, but if I complained about everything that hurt, no one could stand being around me.
I think a lot of us are like that. We accept a certain amount of discomfort in our lives to not only to continue being “normal”, but also just to keep from being overwhelmed or completely enveloped by our condition. It’s easy to fall into that rabbit hole of despair when your whole world revolves around your pain. Most of us just get up and get going on to something else.
Like when my husband and I were walking yesterday, we were having conversations about our upcoming trip to New York and his busy April schedule with three NASCAR races. And even when I was sitting and rubbing my knees, I really wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, my mind, at least was somewhere else.
I just have to remember that ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away. Only by admitting I’m having problems can I get additional help if I need it.
Here’s hoping that any sudden realizations that come your way are pleasant ones. Thanks for checking in.